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The Moment of Truth

At Southwark Playhouse

This production ran from June 26 - July 20 2013


In its first professional staging since an acclaimed 1951 premiere, Peter Ustinov’s largely forgotten play is about the mechanics of toppling governments, the pretences of war and the power of propaganda.

A republic is poised to fall. The only remaining members of an unpopular government are its cynical Prime Minister and a naïve, emotional Foreign Secretary. The invading army has it’s boots upon the soil of this crumbling nation. Inside the cabinet office, toy soldiers and old icons of military glory veil the realities of war and bloodshed. Death, in a moment of truth was never so real.

The recent Arab spring that has swept up North Africa and the Middle East has powered the propaganda machines of domestic and foreign nations, sparking revolutions and toppling governments. As a military dictatorship rages with rhetoric and uprisings continue to gather pace, there couldn’t be a more timely revival for The Moment of Truth.

Peter Ustinov

The Playwright


Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004) was one of the most gifted individuals of his generation: actor, director, writer, impressionist, journalist, essayist, satirist and raconteur.

Today he is mostly remembered for his performances in films like Spartacus, Topkapi and Quo Vadis and also his famous anecdotes. Sadly, his plays, despite being very popular at the time of writing have been forgotten.

The New Actors Company are reviving The Moment of Truth as part of their commitment to rediscovering forgotten theatre.

Cast and Creatives

Directed by Robert Laycock

Rob is the resident director for The New Actors Company. He has worked on three productions with the company before, A Dinner Party, The Night Before Christmas and They Came To A City. They Came To A City was nominated for multiple OffWestEnd awards, earning critical praise from The Times and The Guardian.

Designed by Alex Marker

Alex trained in Theatre Design at the Wimbledon School of Art. He is resident designer at the multi award winning Finborough Theatre, where he has designed over thirty productions including most recently: London Wall, Saer Doliau, So Great a Crime, Outward Bound, Fanta Orange, Quality Street and the European premier of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Me and Juliet. He has also directed at the Finborough Theatre, including a staged reading of Iain Finlay MacLeod's Atman and a revival of William Douglas Home's Portraits.

Christopher Littlewood Composer

Matthew Tarbuck Sound Designer

Bonnie Wright as The Girl

Bonnie is best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films. She graduated from the University of the Arts in London in 2011. Television credits include Stranded and Agatha Christie’s A Life in Pictures. Her graduation film Separate We Come, Separate We Go starring David Thewlis premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2012. She has just finished filming The Sea alongside Ciran Hinds, Sinead Cusack and Charlotte Rampling, which will be released later this year. Forthcoming projects include The Philosophers and Before I Sleep.

Callum Coates as The General

Theatre credits include The Doctor's Dilemma (National Theatre), The Sound of Music (UK No.1 Tour), The 39 Steps (West End and UK Tour), Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe), The Tempest (Middle Temple Hall), King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe and tour to Japan), Smoke & Mirrors, Private Lives, Wait Until Dark, Intimate Exchanges (all Theatre Royal Margate), Espana In The Works (Linbury Studio Royal Opera House), The Moonstone (UK tour), Hamlet (Norwich Playhouse), A Phoenix Too Frequent (Minerva Theatre & Canterbury Festival), Pygmalion (UK Tour) and Arms and The Man (UK Tour). TV and Radio includes The Armstrong & Miller Show, Family Business, The Gunpowder Treason, Much Ado About Something, Unknown Soldiers, The Application, Forza Del Destino and The Tombs of Southwark.

Damian Quinn as The Victor

Trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Theatre credits include The Duchess of Malfi and The Maias (Greenwich Playhouse), King John (Union Theatre), Pretty Ugly (Powerhouse Theatre);, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing (The Scoop), Macbeth (Young Shakespeare Company on tour), and Jane Eyre (Charing Cross Theatre).

Mark Carey as The Foreign Minister

Theatre credits include The Relapse (National Theatre), Lone Star (Donmar Warehouse), Penny for a Song, Mr Director, The Seagull (Orange Tree Theatre), The Winter's Tale (Arts Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), Communicating Doors, Gasping, Time and Time Again and The Frog Prince (Theatre Royal Northampton). Film credits include When I Die Forever and Space Precinct. Television credits include The Invisibles, Doc Martin, Murphy's Law, Down to Earth, People Like Us and London's Burning.

Miles Richardson as The Prime Minister

Theatre credits include Richard II and III, Henry IV, Part I & II, Henry V, Henry VI, Part I, II & III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company), All's Well That Ends Well (Royal Shakespeare Company and Gielgud Theatre), Johnson in Love (BAC), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Westminster Theatre), The Invisible Man (Comedy Theatre, now the Harold Pinter Theatre), Othello (Theatre Clwyd Cymru), An Inspector Calls, The Contractor (Birmingham Rep), Romeo and Juliet (Ludlow Festival), Another Country (Queen's Theatre). Film credits include Christmas at Castlebury, The Colour of Magic, Dreamtime, The Remains of the Day, The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Rodney Bewes as The Marshal

Best known for Bob Ferris in BBC’s The Likely Lads as well as its sequel, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? and the film, The Likely Lads. He went on to star in Dear Mother... Love Albert which he also wrote and produced. Theatre credits include A Night Out (Comedy Theatre, now the Harold Pinter Theatre), Little Malcolm (Garrick), Middle Age Spread (Lyric, Apollo), And Then There Were None (Duke of York's), A Midsummer Night's Dream (International Tour), Big in Brazil (Old Vic, Theatre Royal Plymouth), Funny Money (Playhouse Theatre), The Odd Couple (Theatre Royal Haymarket), 3 Men in a Boat (National Tour) and The Diary of a Nobody (Live Theatre and Edinburgh Festival).

Toni Kanal as The Nurse

Theatre credits include Naked (Royal Court), Passion Play, The Vortex (Donmar Warehouse), Be My Baby (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), and The Dorchester, My Matisse (Jermyn Street Theatre). Television includes Anna Karenina, Within These Walls, About Face and King of the River.

Daniel Souter as The Photographer

Theatre credits include They Came to a City (Southwark Playhouse), Othello (Blue Elephant Theatre), A Dinner Party (Camden People's Theatre), Ecris Moi (UK Tour), The Night Before Christmas (Baron's Court Theatre) and Chicken Soup with Barley (Soho Theatre).


This play is being produced by The New Actors Company.

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